54 and Counting

Friday, October 2, marks Carol’s and my 54th anniversary. The two photos were taken 53 years apart. Hope we’re still around for the diamond one.Mike and Carol, July 1961Mike and Carol Resnick, Writers of the Future

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues #23: Heroes

NOTE: this article first appeared in the pages of SFWA Bulletin 162, Summer, 2004.

MIKE: You and I disagree on a hell of a lot of things, which is at least partly the basis of this column. I think we have shown over the previous 22 Dialogues that Rudyard Kipling may have been just a tad optimistic about how many ways there are of constructing tribal lays, but I think we’ve clearly shown there are at least two viable and defensible ones: yours and mine.

And now we come to a subject on which I think we will agree—(No, not Sophia Loren; I mean still another subject)—and that subject has to do with the heroes of science fiction. I’m not talking about writers like Robert A. Heinlein or Ray Bradbury or any of the others who put science fiction on the map and made us millions of new readers, or about editors like John Campbell who dragged science fiction, almost against its will, into the mid- 20th Century. Their contributions are remarkable, no question about it—but they mainly benefited the readers, which is certainly not a bad thing, since it is the readers who keep us all in business.

And science fiction is a business, at least to the readers of the SFWA Bulletin, and there have been a lot of unsung heroes who have helped make it a better place for us to work. I think nobody will mind if we stop arguing for an issue and give some long-overdue credit to some of those heroes.

I’ll start with a couple of members of the old Futurian club.

The first is Donald A. Wollheim. Not because of his editing, which extended over half a century, and included far more brilliant works of fiction than he’s generally credited with (including yours). Not even because he founded a successful and still viable mass market science fiction publishing company. No, Don Wollheim is a hero because back in the 1930s he went to court for ten dollars.

Hugo Gernsback loved to publish science fiction. He loved to buy it from writers. He loved to promote it. For all I know, he loved to edit it. What he didn’t love to do was pay for it. He treated his writers like unpaid coolie labor. It was Wollheim who showed his fellow coolies in this then-embryonic field that we didn’t have to put up with that abuse. When Gernsback accepted one of Wollheim’s stories and ignored his requests for payment, Wollheim went to court and won a judgment—and no solvent publisher has pulled that stunt since then. It was a precedent that unquestionably made things better for all of us who came after him.

The other Futurian hero was Isaac Asimov. Not for being the national treasure he became, not for anything he wrote, not for the non-stop promotion of science fiction throughout his long life. No, it was for being proud of who he was and what he wrote. When John Campbell suggested that Isaac write under a Western European pseudonym, Isaac, who held Campbell in awe, nonetheless refused. He was not ashamed of being a Russian Jew, and—the reason he belongs on this list—he was not ashamed of writing science fiction. He was proud of it, and he wanted everyone to know that he, Isaac Asimov, wrote it. Prior to that, every writer who had been asked to hide behind pseudonyms had done so. After all, it was just pulp pap, so why make a fuss over it? It was Isaac who said that no, it wasn’t just pulp pap, and he won his fight, which made it a lot easier on those of us who followed him to hold up our heads and explain to the world at large that we weren’t just writing that crazy Buck Rogers stuff, that there was more to it than that.

I see you chomping at the bit, so let me take a coffee break and let you enshrine another hero or three.
Continue reading

Posted in Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues | Leave a comment

Hugo Nominee Re-Sold

Just sold my 2012 Hugo nominee, “The Homecoming”, to Alex Shvartsman’s Humanity-2. This will make its eleventh appearance, here and abroad, which ain’t bad for being less than 4 years old.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Another story sold

SFWA President Cat Rambo and I just sold our collaborative story, “The Mermaid Club”, to Conspiracy!, an original anthology edited by Tom Easton.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Oracle Trilogy sold to France

I just sold the Oracle Trilogy — Soothsayer, Oracle, and Prophet — to ActuSF in France. This is the trilogy’s second sale to France, and 14th overall. (In fact, its 13th sale — from Arc Manor, in the U.S. — debuted at Worldcon three weeks ago.)

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment


Leaving for DragonCon at (yucch!) 6:30 AM Friday (September 4). Hope to see some of you there. For the record, here’s my schedule:

Friday, 7:00-8:00 PM
Panel: The Weird West Rides Again!
Panelists: Me, Cherie Priest, Laura Ann Gilman
Location: Augusta 3, in the Westin

Saturday, 4:00-5:00 PM
Panel: World-Building, Part 1 — Building Alternate Eras
Panelists: Me, Eric Flint, S. M. Stirling, D. B. Jackson
Location: Augusta 3, in the Westin

Sunday, 2:30-3:30 PM
Location: Edgewoood, in the Hyatt

Monday, 10:00-11:00 AM
Panel: Influences in Today’s SF/F/Horror Fiction
Panelists: Me, Todd McCaffrey, Tricia Woldridge, Alexandra
Duncan, Stephen L. Antczak
Location: In the Hyatt Embassy D-F

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Sold Eli to Sleuth #1

I re-sold “Even Butterflies Can Sing”, featuring my detective Eli Paxton (who has starred in Dog in the Manger, The Trojan Colt, and Cat on a Cold Tin Roof, to a brand-new mystery magazine being published in Canada. Look for him in SLEUTH #1.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues #22: Breakthroughs

NOTE: this article first appeared in the pages of SFWA Bulletin 162, Summer, 2004.

MIKE: You’d never know it to look at the science fiction section of a bookstore today, but we’re a pretty innovative field. I know it’s hard to believe, but really and truly we are.

The late John Campbell was fond of saying that Doc Smith gave us the stars, and that we’re still waiting for the next breakthrough.

The late John Campbell was dead wrong, of course. We’ve had many major breakthroughs, both conceptual and stylistic. And maybe now—when the novel to which there are not at least two sequels and a prequel can be considered an endangered species—might be a good time to consider them, if for no other reason than to prove that such things are considerably less rare than hen’s teeth and that there is no reason to assume that there aren’t dozens of them stacked up in a holding pattern, just waiting to be born.

And since I’m a gentleman of the old school (i.e., I’m still thinking about it) I shall graciously let you be the first to argue the historical import of a breakthrough of your choice.
Continue reading

Posted in Resnick/Malzberg Dialogues | Leave a comment

My Worldcon Schedule

Sasquan, the 2015 Worldcon, will be held in Spokane, Washington from August 18 through August 23. Here’s my schedule:

My Worldcon schedule:

Wednesday, 11:45 AM — 12:45 PM
Autograph at Larry Smith’s table (time tentative)

Wednesday, 1:00 PM — 1:45 PM
Panel: Understanding Contracts (300D)
With Joshua Bilmas, Jim Fiscus

Wednesday, 3:30 PM — 4:30 PM
Autograph at Phoenix Pick (Galaxy’s Edge/Stellar Guild) table

Wednesday night
Launch party for THE OUTPOST
Wordfire suite, Red Lion River Inn

Thursday, 3:00 PM — 3:45 PM
Official autographing in Exhibit Hall B

Thursday, 4:30 PM — 5:45 PM
Autograph new release INCI with co-author Tina Gower
at Phoenix Pick (Galaxy’s Edge/Stellar Guild) table

Thursday, 8:30 PM
Launch party for INCI
Phoenix Pick suite, at the Courtyard Hotel

Friday, Noon — 12:45 PM
Kaffeeklatsch (202B-KKC)

Friday, 4:30 PM — 5:30 PM
Autograph at Wordfire Press table

Saturday, 10:00 AM — 10:45 AM
Panel: What Every Fan Should Know (401C)
With Toni Weisskopf, Roger Sims, Joe Siclari, John Hertz

Saturday, 11:30 AM — Noon
Reading (303B)

Saturday, 1:00 PM — 1:45 PM
Panel: How to Edit Anthologies (Bays 111C)
With John Joseph Adams, Ellen Datlow, Rich Horton

Saturday, 2:00 PM — 2:45 PM
Panel: The Future of Short Fiction Online
With John Joseph Adams, Neil Clarke, Anaea Lay, Scott H. Andrews

Saturday, 6:00 PM — 8:00 PM
Hugo Pre-Reception (Integra Telecom Ballroom — 100A)

Saturday, 8:00 PM — 10:30 PM
Hugo Ceremony (INB Performing Arts Center)

We arrive Tuesday afternoon, leave Sunday morning. All my lunches and dinners are scheduled. So are 2 (ugh!) breakfasts.

Hope to see some of you there.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

New science fiction book bundle

There’s a very nice book bundle that just came on the market. It
contains science fiction books by many of the top female writers
in the field. I’m in it (the sole male) only because I co-edited
Stars with Janis Ian. Take a look, and then take advantage
of a fine offer:


Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment